A MAN was handed a suspended jail sentence after he sped through streets in Southend.

A court heard how motorist Ben Martin panicked when he saw police.

He went through three red lights before he was stopped in heavy traffic, in Fairfax Drive, at about 2pm on March 24. He ran off, but was caught by police a short while later.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Martin had panicked because he had no insurance.

Recorder Peter Lodder QC told Martin yesterday: “This was extremely serious and the risks to pedestrians and other road users were obvious.”

The court heard how the whole incident lasted about three minutes after police saw 22-year-old Martin in a friend’s Ford Fiesta.

They indicated for him to stop, but he sped off from Cavendish Gardens and police clocked him at speeds of up to 50mph ina30mph limit and 55mph in a 20mph limit.

At the time, Martin was under the terms of a suspended 12-month prison sentence after he had denied, but was convicted of,aburglary charge.

Martin, of Fairfax Drive, Southend, admitted charges of dangerous driving and no insurance when he appeared in court. He also admitted the suspended sentence breach.

He was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for three years. He was also told to take an extended test.

Martin was also givena150- hour unpaid work order, fined £500 and had another two years added to the term of his existing suspended sentence.